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Concern Worldwide UK Executive Director Rose Caldwell reflects on last year's achievements that were possible with your help

As Concern publishes its annual report, Rose Caldwell reflects on the achievements that were possible with your help

Last year, natural disasters, conflict and political instability forced a staggering 135 million people worldwide to seek humanitarian assistance. Concern Worldwide was at the forefront of responding to many of those emergencies in places like East Africa, parts of which faced a desperate food crisis that threatened more than 23 million people, and Bangladesh, where half a million mainly Rohingya people fled after escaping violence in Myanmar.

Together with you and our Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) partners, Concern Worldwide was able to meet the immediate needs of millions of people living on the edge, providing life-saving food rations, vital treatment for acutely malnourished children and essential supplies such as clean water and shelter.

outpatient therapeutic programme clinic staff takes MUAC measurement of Rama* at Kutupalong clinic. Photo: Abir Abdullah/Concern Worldwide  *Name changed for security purposes

What your kindness has achieved

We also used your generous donations to help build resilience in some of the most fragile countries, ensuring vulnerable people are better able to face natural disaster or manmade crises. In Bangladesh we worked hand in hand with communities to develop alternative livelihoods, cultivate climate-smart crops which are more robust and adaptable to extreme weather, and support new irrigation and agricultural techniques. In flood prone areas in Pakistan, our Department for International Development (DFID) funded work included training search and rescue teams, making school buildings stronger, improving flood control channels, establishing early warning systems and supporting people to adapt their livelihoods.  In places like South Sudan, Chad and Republic of Sudan we worked with hundreds of poor communities facing the threat of drought and food insecurity, helping them prepare and adapt to climate change and shocks.

Outside view of Shofika's* tent at the Kutupalong camp. Photo: Abir Abdullah/Concern Worldwide  *Name changed for security purposes

Hard work is still to come

However, we know that it takes more than work on the ground to tackle the root causes of poverty, and we are committed to advocate on the wider issues that perpetuate hunger and poverty. At this year’s Global Nutrition Summit in Milan, we joined other international NGOs to call for a renewed commitment to tackle malnutrition globally. Having already met the commitment that we made in 2013 at the Nutrition for Growth Summit in London, we pledged to spend a further $100 million by 2020.  We will have to work hard to raise this sum, and we cannot do it without your continued support.

Such investments, whether on the ground or at policy level, are only made possible through what we receive from donors. In the past year, our income from the UK public, governments and co-funders reached its highest level ever at £34.4 million – a reflection of the trust placed in the quality and impact of our work. Together, we have helped Concern Worldwide reach 27 million people in 27 countries, and for that, we are hugely grateful.

 

We are also intensely aware of the challenges we face in 2018. However our steadfast commitment remains the same – we will continue to do our very best to stand with communities in the toughest places of the world to help them build a more stable future.

 

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